Gladiator 2 Board
I have now had my Gladiator 2 dart board that I won in the competition for a few weeks and wanted to tell you all about it.
Initially when it arrived I liked the initial weight of the box as it felt heavier than normal so I thought to myself lovely jublee a few freebies in there with it lol but it was just the board and an iron on badge. It does feel significantly heavier but I have not weighed it to compare, I may try to do so soon. The board itself looks very nice and is clear and the colours are bright, I personally don't like the silver number ring as it reminds me of the old boards from the 80's and gives it a dated feel which is a shame for a very modern bright looking board. I know some may say that the white ones chip but to be fair I rarely hit the outer ring so this is not really a concern for me. I think it would look better with a white outer ring and it would be in keeping with the rest of the board. My other issues are at how hard this board is, if you think a Blade 4 is hard when new it has nothing on this baby it reminds me of throwing darts in to a log end. I am a light thrower and 1 of my darts kept falling out before I could complete a set of 3 which frustrated me. I did rough up the ends of my points to help this situation but as the sisal is so tight it takes the roughness off within a day or so of practising so feel like I have to do this every other day, and psychologically it was playing on my mind to throw harder which affected my throw. The sisal is very flat which was nice to see as some boards (not going to mention Unicorns name here) tend to have a few lumps and bumps and the sisal pulls out leaving white marks but I doubt this will happen with this board as the sisal is extremely tight. It will only be the heavy dart users that might be able to comment on this.
I did like the screw that goes in to the back of the board for ease of centring but again this screw did not go in far enough to fit the bracket that I was already using as it lends itself to fit better with the bracket sent with it, so I had to pack my board out with wedges to stop it moving about or change the bracket so I packed it out as it was easier as the screw holes didn't match up and I didn't want to have to drill new holes and move the board an inch or so. This is a pain when turning the board once a week but it's a minor inconvenience more than a fault in the manufacture as I was not using their hanging bracket.
The trebles and doubles appeared to be larger and on measuring them they were, The Blade 4 were 8.4 to 8.6 where as the Gladiator 2 were 8.8 to 9.4 now I know this is only a mm but for me I don't want the trebles and doubles bigger I would have preferred it had they have gone the other way and been smaller. There is also something not quite right with the spider on mine as it looks out of line and some of the wires are not straight and the Bullseye is off centre these are all little things but to someone who plays at a good level it makes a lot of difference.
Overall I would not buy one of these boards unless these issues were rectified. I don't want to appear ungrateful for winning this as a prize but as you know I like to be honest with my write ups and reviews about darts products and there would be no point in lying about my findings. I am sure others may find my comments petty or nit picking but a review is just that. For me this is a good board that needs a few tweaks and adjustments to get it right as I don't feel it is quite ready to take on the big boys yet unless it was £20.00 or under then it would be worth putting up with the minor defects. This could be a good board but for now I would give it a 5 /10. Sorry guys but not for me.
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I'll take it off your hands then....
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I, for one, appreciate an honest assessment of a product no matter how it was gained. I too like boards with the white number rings but in all honesty, one of those shiny ones can be tamed with a few shots of spray paint in seconds.

The differences you mentioned in the size of the doubles and trebles would concern me more than a shiny numbers ring. I have played on and am considering getting a Champion's Choice Practice Board where the doubles and trebles are about 1/2 the size of a regulation boards. I too would rather practice on a board that is at least consistent with regulation sizing and not have the false sense of accomplishment when hitting larger scoring premium areas.

And from someone that frequently suffers from kidney stones, I beg to differ that 1mm doesn't make much difference. In certain circumstances, it makes a LOT of difference. LOL
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Nice one Kev!

Sounds like you don't like it then. In defence of it though I have to say that some of the problems you mention were not on my review board, the spider was perfectly square and even and so was the Bull, I diligently checked my review board with the micrometre as I already knew that the prototype I had was not square and the bull on the prototype was off centre too. It was all fine on the review board so I can only assume that you got one that was not properly checked which is not good!

I mentioned the bigger trebles in my review and we had a debate about that, I said a good player would think it is a bit of a cop out so you have proven me right in that respect, but no one seemed to know what the real regulation size is so I don't know if there is a standard, I think it has been mostly influenced by the thickness of the wires and as the Gladiator 2 has the thinnest wires yet then its understandable the segments will be that little bit bigger. But I guess they could change that if they wanted, keep the same thin wires but move them a bit closer.

The painted number ring is something they had on the prototype but they must have reacted to the feedback given and decided to go with a non painted ring, so I guess most people prefer a non painted ring if thats the case, so I don't think they will change that.

I found the sisal to be harder than the Blade 4 on my board but not overly hard and had no problems with drop outs or bounce outs, I throw 23g darts and have a light throw too, I cant help but throw light really, as soon as I put a bit of oomph behind it I get wrist or shoulder pains. The board is like a sponge compared to what my Bulls 2 was like for the first 6 months or so, that was like a rock! But I guess this is the one thing that can make a person like one board over another and will all depend on how that person throws and the weight of the dart I guess, so its good to hear peoples views as we all perceive things differently, which is why I wish more people would start reviewing things, gives a broader idea of products Smile

But the prototype has certainly lasted longer than my standard Blade 4 so I guess some compromise has to be made between density and longevity.

The Blade 4 Dual Core is definitely the softest board out of all the modern ones, still not as soft as my Winmau 1978 board though Smile

So far the Dual Core is holding up well on the wear side, so this Dual Core theory may be a good thing.
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Everyone has old boards they could take a white ring off
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Great honest review Kev,maybe they might send you a new boardSmile
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I have one and find it rather good. Its true about the hardness of the board and I must scuff and sharpen my darts with each practice session. The silver ring is fine with me and my bull is dead center. Not being of a higher level player the size of the segments appear to be the same but I could be wrong on that account. Though not a 10 outta 10 I still rate it a 7-8 for now . Only more use will help me decide on the final score. I used the bulls quick release on the back and it works fine although I still had to shim the board but I do that with all of them.
I appreciate Kevin's review because of his high level of play gives me and others a clearer incite to what to really look for in a good board.
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I agree that it is much better to have an honest review. Maybe the free board was a sample one not from the main production run?
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(12-29-2013, 04:46 PM)rich345 Wrote: I agree that it is much better to have an honest review. Maybe the free board was a sample one not from the main production run?

I dont know, it was provided by Mike from Infinitidarts.com.

If you can post the pics of the faults in the spider we can maybe check and get you a replacement. From reading around the net and the others who have bought them I have not heard any one having that issue as yet, my prototype was a little out of alignment, but I never expected the prototype to be perfect, but it was perfect on the review board so not really sure why you got a iffy one?
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Mine's been in bubble wrap at work since it came in September -- guess I better open it up and take a peek. FWIW I'm not crazy about the white ring, and was thinking about swapping it with the one from the old board.
26's so far this year: I've already lost count. :-)

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(12-29-2013, 07:47 PM)brenthahn Wrote: Mine's been in bubble wrap at work since it came in September -- guess I better open it up and take a peek. FWIW I'm not crazy about the white ring, and was thinking about swapping it with the one from the old board.

It doesn't have a white ring, Kev is saying he prefers the White ring, the prototype had a white ring but the retail version is non-painted, so it would seem that they followed the feedback from all the prototypes they sent out and went with what must have been the majority and left it unpainted. Smile
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(12-29-2013, 07:53 PM)Getagrip Wrote: It doesn't have a white ring, Kev is saying he prefers the White ring, the prototype had a white ring but the retail version is non-painted, so it would seem that they followed the feedback from all the prototypes they sent out and went with what must have been the majority and left it unpainted. Smile
I know - should've worded it more precisely, as in "… well, the bull might look like a lazy eye, but at least I don't have to replace the ring."
26's so far this year: I've already lost count. :-)

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LOL I get ya now! Smile
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Thanks Kev, I am considering this board for my next board so I appreciate your review. I'm getting along fine with the Puma Bandit at the moment so I don't think the hardness would worry me!
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After reading Grips review I ordered the G2 but not being anywhere near as good as some of you I wonder if I'll even notice the difference between this board and the Blade 4? I thought the unpainted ring looked like a good idea since the Blade 4 ring is trashed from me missing everything so often and lucky to even hit the board sometimes. Just today I was looking at the Blade ring and thought how easy it would be to repaint it, not that it would help me much, I'd just trash out the repainted ring as well.
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